>> An Iranian-American businessman and his father sentenced to ten years in prison by an Iranian court, charged with spying for the United States government. 45 year old Siamak Namazi, seen in this video released Sunday by an Iranian news site, was detained a year ago while visiting family in Tehran.
His father, Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF official who, like his son, has dual US-Iranian citizenship, was detained in February. Reporter Yeganeh Torbati says the harsh sentence is the latest sign of Iran's hardliners pushing back against easing relations with the US in the wake of last year's nuclear deal.
>> Siamak Namazi most recently was working for an oil and gas company in the United Arab Emirates. Siamak had, in his past, had worked in Iran as a business consultant. But at the moment when he was actually arrested last year, his business really didn't have anything to do with Iran.
He was there in Iran to visit family. What experts on Iran and what observers of the country have told us and have said is that this has been sort of part of a backlash against President Rouhani and his efforts to improve Iran's ties with the West. He has championed the nuclear deal.
He's championed better ties between Iran and Western Countries. People like Siamak, people who have facility between both the Iranian system and the Western system, are a threat to those sort of entrenched business interests that exist in Iran. So just one arrest really has a chilling effect on the rest of the Iranian-American, or Iranian dual national business community.
>> State department spokesman, Mark Toner.>> We have continually raised the plight of all US citizens who we believe are unjustly detained by the Iranian authorities, and the Namazi's are no exception.>> Family members telling Reuters, for 80-year old Baquer, the punishment amounts to a life sentence.